Taylor Burdyshaw excels at both academics and athletics. Ranked No. 1 academically, she has maintained a perfect GPA since sixth grade.
She said some subjects come to her easily, but for others, she’s had to work hard. She considers her academic success her highest achievement of high school.
“I’ve always strived to do well — it’s my main goal,” she said.
Burdyshaw has been playing volleyball since seventh grade. Between her school team and select teams, she played volleyball 10 months out of the year, sometimes nearly every day.
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“I liked the energy involved,” she said of the game.
Her athletic achievements include playing tennis, serving as the captain of the volleyball team and receiving several Scholar Athlete titles.
“Taylor is a caring individual who brings out the best in those around her,” said Peninsula High School chemistry teacher David Stitt. “She has shown academic drive and a tenacity that is rare for an individual of her age.”
Burdyshaw has volunteered her time for several community projects and organizations. She served as a tutor to other chemistry students and as the co-president of the school’s Spanish Club. Outside of school, she’s volunteered for Special Olympics and the Muscular Dystrophy Association camp, among other things.
She has been described as a mature young woman who likes to challenge herself.
Hayley Nichols, who’s known Burdyshaw for 10 years, says she’s hired her as a nanny for her daughter not because she needed a nanny, but because Burdyshaw was a good role model who had a lot to offer.
“Taylor is able to influence those around her in a positive and meaningful way through her sheer presence and gracious attitude,” Nichols said. “Taylor’s commitment to her family, sports, academics, community and friends has shown me what to hope for in the next generation.”
Inspired by her firefighter father, Burdyshaw wants to pursue a career in the medical field. She plans to become a registered nurse. A job shadow with a hospital labor and delivery nurse has confirmed to her that she would like working in that field, she said.
“I like the interaction with patients,” she said.
Her top college choice is the University of Washington, and she is considering the specialty of anesthesiology.
“Taylor excels at everything she sets her mind to, and has demonstrated the loyalty, dedication and perseverance that will take her far,” Nichols said. “I wholeheartedly believe that Taylor will make a difference in the world once she realizes her full potential.”